Sam Casados was born in Colorado, and began his career as an artist early. By grade school, Sam was winning awards for his lifelike paintings, iron work and sculpture. He became certified to teach ceramics when he moved to New Mexico in the 1980’s, and there he also taught fine art to children as well as adults. He started painting murals when he relocated to Delaware in the 1990’s, as well as putting on one-man art shows. His work can be seen all over the east coast, in both private residences and public spaces. He finally decided to settle down in Tucson, where he was a instructor and resident at multiple museums and galleries. He is also painting murals, which can be seen all over Tucson and the surrounding areas. Sam has been a fixture at Cat Mountain Station for many years. He first started out painting the mural on the front of Coyote Pause Café. He used the surrounding Sonoran Desert as inspiration, accenting this mural with coyotes, bunnies and birds that look like they are living within the painting. A few years later, Kerstin asked him to paint a mural on the front of her new business called Spencer’s Observatory. She wanted this mural to showcase the beauty of space as seen by the telescope. The richness of the dark color scheme brings out the starscape he painted. Next he did a series of western cutouts. He was inspired by John Wayne and Dale Evans as well as the movies they starred in. These paintings are the favorite of our patrons, because they can interact with the pieces and take the pictures home with them. The most recent mural he made at Cat Mountain Station was to disguise the Observatory from the view of our Labyrinth. He once again used the surrounding desert as inspiration and painted with multiple green hues to soften the edges of the building and blend it into the surrounding vegetation. Sam is a very important part of the operations at Cat Mountain Station. He takes on many special projects and executes them seamlessly. His artistic eye has helped in many ways to heighten Cat Mountain Station into what it is today!
Lots of new items have been cropping up around Cat Mountain Station lately. The most recent project that has been completed is the Cat Mountain Lodge Labyrinth. In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built to hold the Minotaur that was eventually killed by the hero, Theseus. It is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness, and a journey into a labyrinth promotes a physchological and spiritual transformation and meditation.
It is a 6 circuit, left-handed classical labyrinth. Designed by our landscape architect, Doug Larson, the labyrinth is shaped as a turtle in honor of the resident tortoise, Juan Wayne.
We started construction 8 weeks ago. After selecting the physical location, Doug graded the land to make it as even as possible.
All the materials used to make this labyrinth were locally sourced from quarries and the local desert. The laybryinth was designed to look like it fits in with the surrounding nature, yet is also distinctive. The most distinctive part is the finishing touch: the turtle statue with a bright blue gazing ball shell.
We hope that you come to Cat Mountain Lodge and enjoy our one-of-a-kind labyrinth!